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(44:40, AltrOck Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Lester 7:16 2. Meghiste Kinesis 7:08 3. Scala Quadro 8:52 4. Gondwana 8:11 5. Anexelenkton 6:58 6. OM 6:13 LINEUP: Giovanni Parmeggani – keyboards Marco Marzo – guitars Daniele Piccinini – bass Cristian Franchi – drums With: Fabio Berti – violin Giorgio Trefiletti – saxophone
Prolusion. ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI (ADC from now on) is a relatively young Italian band, formed at the beginning of the new century. It only took two days for the musicians to record “Kinesis” (live in the studio for sure), their first official release.
Analysis. The band says their stylistic influences range from progressive rock music and jazz rock of the ‘70s to contemporary jazz and 20th Century classical music, citing King Crimson, Soft Machine, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Zappa, PFM, Area, Deus Ex Machina, Cherry Five, Stravinsky and Messiaen as reference points, which to a certain degree conflicts with my personal vision of their music. The first track, Lester, has a movement in the style of RIO as well as a couple of those suggesting Jazz-Fusion of the first water, but otherwise the six instrumentals here, Meghiste Kinesis, Scala Quadro, Gondwana, Anexelenkton, OM and the same Lester overall, all represent hard symphonic Jazz-Rock or, to say more precisely, a complex amalgamation of quasi Jazz-Fusion, quasi Symphonic Progressive, Hard Rock and Metal with some amount of genuine jazz improvisations as well as purely symphonic solos, but with no elements of contemporary jazz or classical music at all. I don’t burn with any desire to draw comparisons, since the recording is free of any distinct signs of outside factors, but to give you at least a general idea of the music, I’d suggest to you to imagine classic Arti & Mestieri, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and ELP, and also Garden Wall (think their “Forget the Colours” album or, if you haven’t heard it, Voivod in the late ‘80s), jamming together, though all the pieces additionally contain some relatively atmospheric electric piano-laden arrangements reminiscent of the self-titled Return To Forever debut release, plus half of them reveal in places the violin-driven moves that bring to mind KBB. Well, these are just particulars, while what is really significant is that ADC appears to be a great band, strong all around, and though they’re so far almost unknown, they will certainly get a lot of well-deserved attention with this wonderful album. All the tracks are standouts: made up of polymorphous structures, these are multi-sectional compositions combining styles some of which seem to be originally incompatible, navigating through a variety of dramatic transitions with distinct changes in theme, pace, mood, dynamics, intensity, coloration and more. The ease with which the band slips from section to section as well as from style to style – be it prog-metal-like moves, or quasi-symphonic ones, or fusionesque interludes, or everything-in-one-bag – is simply fantastic. Even during the edgiest arrangements with the raging guitar riffs at the fore, there is usually a fine balance with the keyboards, which include classic electric piano, organ, both analog and digital synthesizers and acoustic piano, listed in line of descent according to their weight in the recording. Only the last two tracks, Anexelenkton and OM, while being the richest in organ patterns, both reveal a few doom-metal moves with no keyboards involved and which stand out for their gothic, often pronouncedly dark feeling. All the compositions are elaborate and therefore are completely structured, evolving in full accordance with the laws of logicality and, proper, musical harmony. Nevertheless this is challenging, complex, at times highly eclectic music, not without asymmetric constructions, demanding repeated plays. So, especially upon the first spin, don’t try to catch the trajectory of any particular instrument (since all the solos are for the most part vectored differently), but instead focus your attention on general melodic storylines. Yes, regardless of what has been said before, I assure you that melody is a significant component here, a kind of straw that you can always clutch at before you find yourself in your element in these turbulent musical waters, though of course, this remark is not intended for experienced divers.
Conclusion. “Kinesis” by ADC is a true ensemble effort by accomplished musicians, all of whom play with great mastery and expressivity, but never showcase their strong technical skill just for the sake of it. How did they manage to reach such a high level already with their first release? I’ll leave to you, dear readers, to arrive at a conclusion, though I’m sure your verdict will be favorable in any event. Very highly recommended: Top-20-2007
VM: May 10, 2008
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